The Academy at Penguin Hall’s new Student Body President for 2020-21 is Nachelle D. ‘21, a spirited rising senior who describes herself as an “open book” and an aspiring surgeon. Read more to learn about Nachelle!

You are the new Student Body President (for 2020-21)! Is that something you saw yourself doing from year one?

Nachelle has been involved with the Student Leadership Council as a class representative since it began a couple of years ago. Early on, she aspired to serve as Student Body President. “I looked up to Jenn B.’20 [the former Student Body President], and I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to help the school and connect the students to the administration,” Nachelle explained. Her first order of business in the fall? “I’m leaning towards focusing on inclusivity, setting up new clubs or helping clubs run a lot smoother, and starting some other affinity groups that could be helpful to the school and student.”

Do you have any summer plans?

While Covid-19 has interrupted many summer plans, Nachelle hopes to start her internship on a horse farm. In addition to a summer job, the internship offers her the chance to “hack” some of the horses — ride and stretch them out — when not working. And, Nachelle also has her eyes on online summer courses in medicine, the field she’d like to go into after college. “I’m interested in surgery, whether trauma or plastic or reconstructive — things that are helping people gain confidence on the inside… that’s my go-to right now,” she shared.

From left to right: Cousin Xamantha, Aunt Marcel, Nachelle, Family Friend Mayra, Grandma Maria, Grandpa Gregorio, and Mom Leidy

How is the pandemic affecting the way you think about the future?

In addition to masks and social distancing in public places potentially being the “new normal”, Nachelle sees an inevitable and potentially beneficial leap in technology advances, especially in areas like virtual reality. As she explained, “I think people will be more afraid to leave their homes… even with the vaccine, and I think we’ll have to rely on a lot of technology and embrace it — but also take care of each other and take care of ourselves too!”

One of the things that Nachelle hopes resumes some level of normalcy is live music: “I’m dying to go to a concert. I had planned two concerts for this summer and they’re both rescheduled. I just want to experience the loud noise and bass of the drums in person!” 

What is something most people don’t know about you that you don’t mind sharing?

Nachelle describes herself as an “open book” and a person who likes to share about her life. As an excellent student, the new Student Body President, and someone who is involved in many aspects of the school, though, Nachelle sometimes wonders if people think “success” comes easy for her. “I think that it takes a lot of work to become someone who you are proud of, and I’ve worked hard to become someone who I’m proud of; I’m very hard working. I try my best to help others but also myself, which I think is very important!”